News Columns & Blogs

News and Notes, June 5

There will be an installment of “Talkin … ” up later today with Lincoln radio personality Jason Van Arkle. But a couple of things are going on that I wanted to address before we get down to business this afternoon and tonight.

First, the Wingnuts have signed infielder Tony Mansolino, who played with St. Paul in parts of the 2009 and 2008 seasons. Last night, I was told (not by manager Kevin Hooper or anyone on the coaching staff) that Mansolino would start at second base and move Patrick Brooks to a utility role.

But looking at Mansolino’s career numbers, I don’t think he presents an upgrade to Brooks except in the area of experience. Mansolino, drafted in 2005 by the Pirates, has played a handful of games in Double-A. He’s never really hit, though, outside of an 108-at-bat stint with St. Paul in 2008, when Mansolino batted .389.

Even in not so many at-bats, that’s definitely the outlier in Mansolino’s career stats. His career average is .232, and last season he hit a combined .230 with St. Paul and Schamburg of the Northern League. Brooks is batting .228 with six RBIs. Angel Nicolas was released to make room on the roster for Mansolino.

Also, a somewhat interesting twist to last night’s near-scuffle between the Wingnuts and Lincoln. I was told after I wrote my story and long after deadline (unfortunately) that the bunt laid down by Jeff Christy that made Lincoln so mad was called accidentally by Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper. Which seems sort of obvious, because it was a 3-1 count in an RBI situation.

Except that the pitch before, Chris Colton had stolen third base. So it was at least conceivable that Christy was called on to bunt there as a way to get another run home. I wish I would have found this out before I started writing. Christy alluded to it, but it wasn’t clear exactly what he was saying. But thinking I only had time to talk to Hooper or Donald Furrow, the guy who hit Christy, I chose Furrow. And he gave me great stuff, but the story about the accidental bunt call would have given good color to this morning’s article. It turned out that I had time, anyway. I always do.

Let that be a lesson to young reporters. You have time! Cover all your bases. That concludes today’s Journalism 101 lesson and also this blog post. See you in a couple hours, if not less.